There were no cougars, no jazz-loving Frenchmen—just a man who wanted to go fast: to finish first, not last.
An extreme joyrider who is said to have led police on a hours-long chase through the backroads and backwoods of rural Oregon was finally arrested after breaking into a house and emerging in a stolen Ricky Bobby jumpsuit—as worn by Will Ferrell’s Nascar superstar character in the cult comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
The saga started at about 6 p.m. Tuesday when the would-be racer—identified by police as 25-year-old Alexis Ibarra Gomez—was reported driving erratically and speeding through stop signs near the town of Molalla, in Clackamas County, south of Portland, in what turned out to be a stolen GMC pickup.
According to The Oregonian, Bobby, er, Gomez allegedly first engaged in a shootout with the witness who had reported him to police, firing several shots from a handgun before the other driver shot back with a rifle from behind his Chevy Colorado.
Unhurt in the exchange, Gomez is said to have headed north on Route 213, managing to evade sheriff’s deputies even as they laid down stingers to stop the speeding truck.
A short time later, officers said they found the vehicle crashed into a garage on the southeastern outskirts of Oregon City.
Police said Gomez had been seen running into the woods and then allegedly broke into a nearby house in Beaver Lake, whose absent owner, Paul Wille, alerted police after a remote alarm system went off and tracked the intruder through security cameras.
By this point, the speed demon had attracted quite a following. Officers from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon City police had been joined by state troopers, the county air unit, and a SWAT team.
The officers are said to have tracked Gomez as he worked his way through the house, wielding a flashlight. A crisis negotiation team arrived, just in case.
When Gomez did come out, he was pushing a bicycle and wearing a Ricky Bobby racing uniform he had found in the house. Seeing the SWAT teams, he dropped to the floor.
Police reportedly found a case with stolen jewelry and other items abandoned nearby.
“Out of anything to choose from in the home, he found my Halloween outfit... the full jumpsuit with the hat,” Wille told KGW. “He takes that and my bicycle with two flat tires and tries to escape. Apparently that didn’t work too well.”
Gomez, who is being held at Clackamas County jail on bail of $342,500, faces a string of charges including attempted assault, burglary, and trying to elude police.
There’s no word on charges related to the purloined Ricky Bobby jumpsuit.